The Trouble With Boundaries

boundary

Syllabification: bound·a·ry

Pronunciation: /ˈbound(ə)rē

NOUN (plural boundaries)

1A line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line:the eastern boundary of the wildernessthe boundary between the US and Canada[AS MODIFIER]: a boundary wall

SYNONYMS

border, frontier, borderline, partition;
fenceline

1.1(often boundaries) A limit of a subject or sphereof activity:a community without class or political boundaries

Origin

early 17th century: variant of dialect bounder, frombound2 + -er1, perhaps on the pattern of limitary.

The Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 2014.

On a spiritual level, boundaries can help to protect us. In some ways, a boundary is a shield. Boundaries also require us to respect the privacy and desires of others — meaning that we don’t help those who don’t want to be helped. And that’s a good thing. We shouldn’t interfere with the autonomy of others, and they shouldn’t interfere with ours.

An image from SciTechDaily's article, "Our universe collided with another billions of years ago, Stephen Hawking says." Click on the image to see the article. Is it connected with what I'm saying about boundaries? I don't know...hey, might as well encourage a little science education around here!
An image from SciTechDaily’s article, “Our universe collided with another billions of years ago, Stephen Hawking says.” Click on the image to see the article. Is it connected with what I’m saying about boundaries? I don’t know…hey, might as well encourage a little science education around here!

But.

Though boundaries are SO important spiritually, there is also a problem with them. Ask yourself what it means to be bound. To be confined. To be contained.

I remember, from my study of martial arts, the phrase, “empty hands, open hearts.” Ask yourself what it means, and doesn’t mean, to have an open heart.

Boundaries in their most basic sense are walls that divide us from other people. How are we supposed to connect with others through a wall? How are we supposed to give ourselves freely and generously to others through a wall? And on some level, aren’t we imprisoned by our own boundaries?

Our boundaries protect us, but if they protect us from life, and if they protect us from connecting with and helping others, then they are protecting us too much. We have to be brave enough to go out in the world and let the wind blow our hair, let the rain soak us, and let the cold freeze us. We have to be brave enough to trust that if we go out in the world and get hurt by someone or something, then we get hurt. It’s part of life. Our angels, even our guardian angels, and our spirit guides, would never ask of us that we try to organize our lives in a way that makes us comfortable and 100% safe. They would never ask us that. In fact, they frankly seem to be the very forces behind our movement out of our comfort zones. They are sweet and wonderful and everything, and we love them, but they’re also thugs. They’re not afraid to come along and break our collar bones themselves if that’s what it takes to get us moving in the right direction. (Which is why my husband says, “yeah, you keep your angels away from me!”)

Sometimes we need balm and salve for our spirits, which is why I named my site Tarot Salve. And I think the universe, as well as our angels, our spirit guides, our buddhas and bodhisattvas, want us to have that balm for our spirits too. But at the same time, we’re also called upon to venture out past the limits of our boundaries. We are called upon to embrace our spirit challenges. We’re called upon to let our spirits expand into open, limitless space.

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